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Pregnant women and local union leader reinstated in Cambodia

6 July, 2020After a campaign by the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW) and IndustriALL Global Union, garment factories Youli and Shuangli have reinstated eleven pregnant women as well as the local union leader.

Last month, Youli International terminated 724 garment workers affiliated to IndustriALL through CUMW, including eleven pregnant women and local union leader Dy Phors.

Women workers at Youli and its subsidiary Shuangli protested against the terminations, and CUMW criticized Youli and Shuangli for union busting and violence against women.
IndustriALL sent a letter to Youli on 22 June, urging the company to reinstate all workers with back wages. A few days ago, the companies quietly reinstated the pregnant workers and the local union leader, without informing CUMW.

Pav Sina, CUMW president, says:

“We are disappointed over the secrecy and lack of negotiations with the union. As a result, Dy Phors has been moved to a different production section and one of the pregnant women workers was not reinstated. The remaining 711 workers are yet to be reinstated, and we are told that ten cleaners will soon be dismissed. We urge the company to stop intimidating the union leader and to reinstate all workers.”

The union is also calling on the employer to provide face mask and alcohol gels, and to ensure that the canteen, bathrooms and toilets are clean.

IndustriALL regional secretary Annie Adviento says:

“There must be a genuine social dialogue between the employer and the union. I urge Youli and Shuangli to set up a meeting with CUMW as soon as possible to address the issues.”

IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches congratulates CUMW on the achievement, but stresses that IndustriALL will continue to follow the case, as well as defending workers’ rights in Cambodia.

“This victory shows the importance of international solidarity, as IndustriALL’s letter helped open negotiations that led to the reinstatement of the union leader and the pregnant workers. Garment manufacturers are responsible for the well-being of the workers, who have been generating profits for the companies.”